Dutch fort of Katuwana

The Katuwana fortress situated forty kilometers north of Matara. It perched strategically at the top of a hill close to Katuwana District Secretariat. Katuwna Fortress constructed by Dutch in 1646. But history recorded the particular location had been selected by King Vijayabahu I as a security zone during the Polonnaruva period.

Katuwana fortress get natural security rendered by the Urubokka Stream and the Ratmale hill. The Dutch built it to provide security to the Kandy to Matara old road and to render protection to the commercial ventures undertaken by them.

The height of the fort externally is 16 cubits and internally 11 cubits and may have had two garrets and a narrow single entrance. According to Brohier reports Katuwana fort had been subjected to number of attacks from the Sinhalese kings of Kandyan Kingdom and other riots against Dutch. On 8th February 1761 during the Matara Rebellion the fort was captured by Kandyan forces had overpowered and occupied.

In the 1800 the jungle was the last belligerent to besiege and claim the fort. Katuwana was all but forgotten. Reconstruction and excavation work in 1992 and 2006 have seen the fort emerge from the forest. Even though only a few stones remain of the old buildings, the walls of the fort are in good shape. Despite the reconstruction work, one proud tree cradling the southern bastion shows nature perseverance in reclaiming man-made objects for her realm

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